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276Southwestern Historical QuarterlyOctober could display a city that was less isolated and more modern than ever before," whereas "the rowdy crowd that awaited die procession . . . suggested diat such a rapid modernization came with many dislocations as well" (22-23). Fiesta has had to deal with bodi an imagined South and an imagined West, becoming a cross between Carnival in New Orleans—"the city that care forgot" (9)—and Fiesta de Los Angeles, which shifted its parade and romantic royal court in 1 goo to a vaguer Fiesta de las Flores. It would be another halfcentury until San Antonio's Fiesta viewpoint was also broadened, from Fiesta de SanJacinto to Fiesta San Antonio. San Antonio's Fiesta has never drawn huge numbers of outside visitors. It has remained "a story that San Antonians told themselves, articulating a civic identity involving negotiations among multiple communities" (14). The Fiesta proves to be an ample field to study social dislocations and negotiations over the course of more dian a century of disorienting municipal growdi. Women took on education and patriotism by organizing the parade while men dealt with practical matters through a separate organization. Conflicts caused by the gradual blurring of women's roles were accompanied by other evolving contradictions. Mexican Americans early on were elevated to social acceptance during Fiesta only to be put down again once the celebration was over. A changing social order finally made Fiesta—and the city—more genuinely multicultural. The tide is a bit misleading. Fiesta evolved in a communal, somewhat disorganized way rather than being "invented" out of whole cloth. Fiesta's growth was overseen by a coordinating body that was negotiated more tiian forthrighdy created . A focused group did, however, create another distinctive city's modern defining essence, described in a book by the same publisher, Chris Wilson's TL· Myth ofSanta Fe: Creating a Modern Regional Tradition (igg7). Although the two books share similar concepts, this one does not enjoy equivalent benefits of design and editing. Phrases like "performative metaphor" ( 1 28) and "dizzying multivocality" ( 1 g8) jar the reader as surely as unexpected speed bumps on a long highway. And given die vast number of thoughts to sort out, some are likely miss the mark. The San Antonio Conservation Society's founding goal may have been to save the 1 850 Market House, but that does not demonstrate that the group "from its beginning was keenly invested in die marketplace" (8g). Preserving die Market House's significant Greek Revival architecture alone was the motivation. Such lapses do not seriously mar the impact of this book. Hernández-Ehrisman dissects her deceptively broad subject thoroughly and objectively, yielding a balanced, perceptive study that will stand as a definitive treatment for many years to come. San Antonio, TexasLewis F. Fisher Jewuh "funior League: " TL· Rise and Demise oftL· Fort Worth Council ofJewish Women. By Hollace Ava Weiner (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. Pp. 208. Illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9781603440127, $29.95 clodi.) In Jewish "Junior League, " Hollace Ava Weiner supplies a serviceable history of 2oogBook Reviews277 die Fort Worth Council ofJewish Women, a sectarian organization pioneered in 1901 by affluentjewish women alienated by the evangelism ofProtestant women's associational culture. In infancy, the Council offered a form of civic engagement that permitted religious distinctiveness while granting access to the cultural mainstream . Like their gentile sisters, members faced public resistance to female public activism; asJews, diey confronted additional pressure from their peers to avoid a homogenizing assimilation process. Successfully balancing femininity with claims to public authority and spiritual traditionalism with modernity quickly became die defining challenges of the Council's organizational life. Over the next century, the Council's eclectic agenda increasingly reflected an ambition to move moneyedJewish women into positions ofcivic influence in Fort Worth, and a determination to exchange ecclesiastical separatism for a westernized , ecumenical ethos. Instructive examples include an "Americanization School," conceived to promote the acculturation of newly immigrated Jews, and a signature book fair, which the Council shepherded after 1957 into a celebrated annual event netting thousands of dollars for Council projects. The event sharpened the members' business acumen, and transformed die Council from a niche organization into a power...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 276-278
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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